We have established the Intellectual Property Department to supervise intellectual property. The Intellectual Property Department supports our business development and activities to increase the brand value of our products by collaborating with business and R&D departments to apply for, secure, maintain and utilize intellectual property rights, such as patents and trademarks.
We use the PDCA cycle to formulate IP Activity Plans based on the directives of the Intellectual Property Strategy Council headed by the general managers of each department. The departments, research laboratories, and the Intellectual Property Department work together to promote priority issues. We have also introduced the “Unit Structure,” which efficiently solves problems in a wide range of business fields, from petroleum to functional materials, in accordance with the characteristics and strategies of each business. By doing so, each unit can smoothly carry out intellectual property activities such as patent search and analysis, patent prosecution, negotiations, planning, and administration.
In the petroleum field, we have entered into a cross-licensing agreement and are working to strengthen our competitiveness, to this end reducing costs by making available patents from both parties. In the lubricants field, we command a large share of the global market for refrigerating machine oil, which is one of our strengths, and we have established global patent portfolios.
Because market growth is expected in the OLED business, the core field of the electronic materials business, we have entered into alliance agreements with companies in Japan and overseas that hold useful patents related to OLED materials, enabling the mutual use of patents in specific fields. Through these and other measures, we are working to create and expand businesses while expanding the areas in which development is possible.